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Note from Joe: Good poetry makes you feel exactly what the poet felt. For that to happen, you MUST read the poem at the intended speed. Most people who don’t like poetry have never heard it read correctly, and never read it themselves at the intended speed, so the feeling gets lost, just as listening to music at the wrong speed demolishes the intended emotional impact.

The intended speed of this poem is SLOW (as is the case with almost all poetry). Don’t read it like prose! Read it out loud, very slowly and very softly, as if sharing an old memory with delight and reverence. If you read it that way, making each line come vividly to life in your imagination before moving on to the next line, then I promise that you’ll feel what Longfellow felt when he wrote this.


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